Monday, August 29, 2011

Week 7: Getting with the (New) Program

Climbing Mount Whitney

So, we’re at the top of Week 7, but there’s already a need to change the program. I’m not terribly surprised. The beauty of sharing ideas is that friends, fellow bloggers and readers often suggest better ideas or, at a minimum, means to improve.

Chris T., one of our climbing crew members, made an excellent comment in the previous post. He compared our preparation to that of a marathon and suggested breaking up the regimen into smaller blocks, including rest periods in-between. He also added a note about working with weights.

With that, the change plan was to create a new schedule that follow these general guidelines:

  • Create a regular cycle that gets us to three practice hikes over the next year
  • The fourth hike, the Coup De Grâs, will be Mount Whitney
  • Add short periods of rest right before each Big Mother Hike (BMH - my made-up TLA) so that we’re not overworked when the BMH for each cycle begins
  • Add longer periods of rest right after each BMH to prepare for the next cycle
  • Add periods of altitude acclimation when climbing over 8,000 ft. to reduce the chance of altitude sickness
  • Choose local mountains within an hour or two driving distance from Orange county and Los Angeles for the BMHs

The schedule is a work-in-progress, as are all things in life. The above resulted in 14-week cycles followed by two weeks of rest. During the last week of each training session, we’ll cut out most activities except weight-training / calisthenics which make up two days of the week. This should give our muscles enough rest before the BMH of the cycle on the 7th day.

For reference, here’s the current cycle’s schedule (excluding the two-week rest period after the BMH):

Week Date Day Activity Distance (miles) Description
7 8/29/2011 M Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
T Walk 3
W Walk 4
Th Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
F Off
S Racquetball N/A
S Climb 5 Local
8 9/5/2011 M Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
T Walk 4
W Walk 5
Th Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
F Off
S Racquetball N/A
S Climb 6 Peters Canyon Trail
9 9/12/2011 M Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
T Walk 4
W Walk 6
Th Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
F Off
S Racquetball N/A
S Climb 8 Chapparosa Park in Laguna Niguel
10 9/19/2011 M Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
T Walk 4
W Walk 6
Th Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
F Off
S Racquetball N/A
S Climb 8 Chapparosa Park in Laguna Niguel
11 9/26/2011 M Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
T Walk 5
W Walk 7
Th Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
F Off
S Racquetball N/A
S Climb 9 Aliso Canyon Park
12 10/3/2011 M Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
T Walk 6
W Walk 8
Th Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
F Off
S Racquetball N/A
S Climb 10 Aliso Canyon Park
13 10/10/2011 M Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
T Walk 6
W Walk 8
Th Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
F Off
S Racquetball N/A
S Climb 10 Aliso Canyon Park
14 10/17/2011 M Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
T Walk 7
W Walk 9
Th Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
F Off
S Racquetball N/A
S Climb 11 Aliso Canyon Park
15 10/24/2011 M Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
T Walk 7
W Walk 9
Th Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
F Off
S Racquetball N/A
S Climb 11 Aliso Canyon Park
16 10/31/2011 M Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
T Walk 8
W Walk 10
Th Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
F Off
S Racquetball N/A
S Climb 12 Aliso Canyon Park
17 11/7/2011 M Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
T Walk 8
W Walk 10
Th Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
F Off
S Racquetball N/A
S Climb 12 Aliso Canyon Park
18 11/14/2011 M Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
T Off
W Off
Th Gym N/A Calisthenics & Weights
F Off
S Off
S Climb 16 Santiago Peak (Saddleback Mountain)
- Elevation at Peak: 5,687 ft.
- Roundtrip Distance: 16 miles
- Trail: Holy Jim
- Elevation Gain: 3,947 ft.
- Info site: http://www.summitpost.org/holy-jim-trail/160764

What Do You Think?

How does this new schedule look? What do you think can be done better? Feel free to comment below.

PHOTO CREDITS

Alan Vernon

Monday, August 15, 2011

Week 5: Official Kickoff After Time Off

Climbing Mount Whitney

Having spent the last couple of weeks on the road, I didn't walk much. However, I had plenty of opportunity to think, espcially while vacationing on a cruise to Alaska. Though the family and I were active walking at the Mendenhall Glacier area, kayaking in Hines, I spent much time reading the book The Lost Dogs and One Best Hike, Mt. Whitney. I'll write about both of these in later posts, though The Lost Dogs has nothing to do with the hike. It's the story of how Michael Vick's dogs were found and saved.

In the process of reading the Mt. Whitney book, I learned of additional hiking locations in the local mountains to prepare for the Mount Whitney climb. I'll spend the next three weeks researching and scheduling each hike. By the beginning of September, I'll post the full training regimen here.

Though I've not yet finished the Mt. Whitney book, I've already covered the chapters on the planning, dangers and conditioning for the hike. Some of the notes on the dangers of the climb were alarming, especially the sections about evacuation in case of severe high altitude sickness. Nevertheless, I'm more excited than ever to start the process.

Also, since the last post we now have five members in our team of climbers: Yours truly, Chris T., Scot T., Ard R., and Ferchie C. Ferchie is our lone woman representative. One other item I learned reading the Mt. Whitney book is that our party will need five leads (in case one of us can't make it), but it can have 15 total members.

So, I'm casting the net for any additional people interested in the climb. Given we only have one woman in the group, and since I've been accused of sexism for the eschewed ratio, I want to insure we give equal opportunity for the women interested in the climb. First and foremost then, we're looking for three more women to join. Keep in mind, we need people that can at least commit to the training (more on that later). Befor the permit application deadline, we'll ask everyone willing to take the hike to commit to completing it in our agreed-upon length. This'll be one to two days, depending on the group's assessment during our training and before the February 1 deadline. Any takers?

Last, though I spent a few weeks walking and testing the backpack with varying weight in the past four weeks, our training starts this week. This means our team will need to each complete two hikes each week for the next three weeks, with each hike no shorter than 4 miles and, preferably, in terrain with some hills. Each subsequent three-week period means an increase of one-mile and difficulty level in the hikes. Once we reach 10 miles, we'll start hiking the nearby mountains for our second day on the weekends to better acclimate to elevation and rocky terrain. Here's a grid summary of the regimen:

Weeks

Miles / Day

Location

Terrain

Elevation / Gain

5-7

4

Local

Hilly streets

N/A

8-10

5

Local

Hilly streets

N/A

11-13

6

Local

Hilly streets

N/A

14-16

7

Local

Hilly streets

N/A

17-19

8

Local

Hilly streets

N/A

20-22

9

Local

Hilly streets

N/A

23-24

10

TBD

Local Mountains

2-4k ft / 1k ft

25-27

11

TBD

Local Mountains

3-5k ft / 1k ft

28-30

12

TBD

Local Mountains

4-6k ft / 1k ft

31-33

13

TBD

Local Mountains

5-7k ft / 1k ft

34-36

14

TBD

Local Mountains

6-8k ft / 1-2k ft

37-39

15

TBD

Local Mountains

7-9k ft / 1-2k ft

40-42

16

TBD

Local Mountains

8-10k ft / 1-2k ft

43-45

17

TBD

Local Mountains

9-11k ft / 1-2k ft

46-48

18

TBD

Local Mountains

9-12k ft / 2-3k ft

49-51

19

TBD

Local Mountains

9-12k ft / 2-3k ft

52

20

TBD

Local Mountains

9-12k ft / 3-5k ft

53-54

Rest

Ready? Set? Go!


What Do You Think?

Do you have any suggestions on how to improve this routine? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 17: Where Does the Time Go

Climbing Mount Whitney

Whoa! Where does the time go?

It's been over two weeks since I decided to hike Mount Whitney in 2012 and climb it in 2013. I've already started a routine to walk two to three times per week, each time trekking 4.5 to 5.5 miles. I've also increased the difficulty from no day-pack to one that weighs 13 lbs. to my last week high of 23 lbs. It's been challenging, but also exciting.

I've also convinced a friend, Scot T., to at least workout with me for the next five months before the February deadline for submitting permit applications. I think he'll do fine and join me for the 2012 hike. He's not sure he can make it, but I believe with just walking twice a week and working out on weights and cardio on other days, he'll not only make it, he may even beat me to the summit and back.

Christopher T. has also agreed to hike and climb with us. He's already a super athlete. He'll challenge us on the walk. That's exactly what we need. What's more he's a total gear-hear. I love having him join us. Way to go to take the first plunge.

My father-in-law said he'd give it a try once we start climbing the local hills and mountains. He already swims an hour a day. I have no doubt he'll not only keep up with us, he may even teach us a few tricks. After all, he used to climb mountains to ski down them!!!

That means we have four in our party. We're only missing one...and the routine hasn't even started yet!

Any takers for the last position in the 2012 My Rash, Your Rash...no...Our-Rash Mount Whitney Hike Challenge?

What Do You Think?

Do you want to join us? Or do you have some lessons about climbing that you want to share. Feel free to comment below.

Day 17: Where Does the Time Go

Climbing Mount Whitney

Whoa! Where does the time go?

It's been over two weeks since I decided to hike Mount Whitney in 2012 and climb it in 2013. I've already started a routine to walk two to three times per week, each time trekking 4.5 to 5.5 miles. I've also increased the difficulty from no day-pack to one that weighs 13 lbs. to my last week high of 23 lbs. It's been challenging, but also exciting.

I've also convinced a friend, Scot T., to at least workout with me for the next five months before the February deadline for submitting permit applications. I think he'll do fine and join me for the 2012 hike. He's not sure he can make it, but I believe with just walking twice a week and working out on weights and cardio on other days, he'll not only make it, he may even beat me to the summit and back.

Christopher T. has also agreed to hike and climb with us. He's already a super athlete. He'll challenge us on the walk. That's exactly what we need. What's more he's a total gear-hear. I love having him join us. Way to go to take the first plunge.

My father-in-law said he'd give it a try once we start climbing the local hills and mountains. He already swims an hour a day. I have no doubt he'll not only keep up with us, he may even teach us a few tricks. After all, he used to climb mountains to ski down them!!!

That means we have four in our party. We're only missing one...and the routine hasn't even started yet!

Any takers for the last position in the 2012 My Rash, Your Rash...no...Our-Rash Mount Whitney Hike Challenge?

What Do You Think?

Do you want to join us? Or do you have some lessons about climbing that you want to share. Feel free to comment below.